14

Gavin Harrison & O5Ric: The Man Who Sold Himself

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Gavin Harrison & O5Ric: The Man Who Sold Himself Controversy usually sparks insightful arguments, and the third effort by this duo, including a DVD 5.1 surround sound mix, will assuredly summon disparate opinions. A largely experimental progressive rock endeavor, perennial poll-winning drummer Gavin Harrison (King Crimson, Porcupine Tree) and touch guitarist/vocalist O5Ric present a storybook-like presentation, abetted by existential lyricism and a throng of jarring themes.

Harrison is true to form, these pieces primarily designed with complex rhythmic structures, blithe treatments, and 05Ric's rangy guitar implementations. However, from a vocal stance, O5Ric's expressive nuances, and unblemished diction works well in some spots, although many of these pieces lack memorable hooks, his vocals tending to seem distant—especially during refrains where his hybrid, recitation-singing tenders a rather coarse perimeter.

The duo conveys a bit more depth than what might be expected from a prog-rock duo via the punchy, odd-metered time signatures, featuring Harrison's amazingly sophisticated polyrhythmic fills and microsecond-type shifts in strategy. But it cannot be understated that the album may not divulge the killer blow on the basis of one or two casual listens; heady and compositionally demanding, the duo works within staggered pulses that roll into curvy currents amid false-endings and thunderous opuses.

Harrison overlays a steely bass line atop his patterned tom flurries on "Identitas," spiced with his cohort's dark guitar instrumentations, the duo eliciting notions of a cavernous background interspersed with dense mosaics. Harrison's astonishing performances play tricks on the psyche, where the convergence of two or more drummers may come to fruition. His crisp press rolls, scorching triplets, and precision-oriented breakouts help generate an expansive soundstage.

Harrison plays with the beat during the more traditional "Own," nicely enamored by O5Ric's more conventional verse-chorus processes and textural guitar treatments, adding a sonic dreamscape phenomenon that tenders a rather menacing contrast. Beyond laudable technical faculties, unorthodox harmonic components and the perpetually buoyant or heavy-hitting cadences, the program also benefits from a crystalline audio engineering process.

For drum students, this pared-down group setting enables Harrison to strut his very special stuff. Simply stated, he inadvertently provides a clinic. But looking at the big picture, the album may pose a debacle for the artists' staunch admirers. It resides more on the "outside" spectrum and doesn't fit snugly within the norm. Even though King Crimson's famously complex legacy intimates technical excellence, many of its compositions possess memorable melodies, and similar connotations also apply to Porcupine Tree's artistry. However, The Man Who Sold Himself presents an opportunity to witness two prolific minds traversing an alternate course that proposes copious challenges and intermittent rewards.

Track Listing: Prize; Identitas; The Man Who Sold Himself; Own; Body Temple; 107; Wherewithal; Awake; Illusion; Way. DVD: 5.1 surround sound mix.

Personnel: Gavin Harrison: drums, bass and guitar; O5Ric: vocals, touch guitar; Gary Sanctuary: piano and keyboards (1).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Kscope Music


Shop

More Articles

Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Speechless" CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Nature City" CD/LP/Track Review Nature City
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "That Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review That Feelin'
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!